Six Flags Fright Fest: scary good or a frightening flop?


Reagan Russell

Six Flag’s the Viper and Raging Bull pictured at sunset shortly before Fright Fest begun.

Reagan Russell, Staff Writer

Stepping into the park you are immediately transported to a Halloween wonderland. With the blood pool in front of the carousel, the creepy characters walking around, and the Michael Myers music playing in the background it becomes a different experience. 

Six Flags roller coasters can be compared to that of Cedar Point, in Ohio. These familiar parks offer similar thrill factors and similar rides that can be enjoyed almost all year round. 

However, Six Flags Great America has a recurring tradition throughout the park every Halloween season. “Fright Fest” includes a transformation of the park that creates for more of an experience than the average roller coaster. 

Fright Fest’s season is from early September through Halloween weekend. 

To prepare for the spooky season the park adds new music, new foods, and many decorations to make the park feel as scary as possible in the day and brings out the character for an even better experience at night. 

Six Flags offers things for all ages. On the weekends the park is open from 11 AM to 11 PM and the characters do not come out until dark. There are countless signs and warnings for people who have children under 13 that Fright Fest may be too intense after six PM. 

The park also has smaller rides and carnival-like games that are offered for those who want to enjoy the park but do not want as much of a thrill. 

Fright Fest is truly frightening. In order to get the full experience I recommended staying at least one hour past when the characters come out to be able to walk around the park and get as much interaction with them as possible.

The characters are meant to scare and frighten you so do not be alarmed if you begin to get chased or screamed at for it is all in good fun. The characters are not allowed to touch anybody or get to close so everyone will remain safe within the park. 

The park does an outstanding job balancing the fear factor with safety in the park. Anyone of all ages can travel here and find some enjoyment. Fright Fest is not too scary to where it will give anyone nightmares or send them running for the hills, but it is enough of a scare to put you in that Halloween spirit. 

Haunted House enthusiasts may say that it is not scary at all and in comparison to Statesville or Hells Gate that may be true. Fright Fest is not the scariest adventure out there. 

However the park’s main goal is to make it a family friendly experience and wants to keep as many customers present in the park as possible. 

I would highly recommend making your way up to Gurnee, Illinois for Fright Fest at some point. Although the Halloween season is over, Fright Fest will be back again next September promising even more thrills than the year before. 

In the meantime rollercoaster junkies can go enjoy the thrills for the rest of November. The park 

will close after New Years and their holiday light show so make the drive while you still can.